The entire Holy Trinity—God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—directs all people to Christ, as to the Book of Life. For this has been decided by the Father from eternity: whom He would save He would save through Christ. Christ Himself says, "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). And again, "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved" (John 10:9).
Christ, as God's only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father [John 1:18], has announced the Father's will to us. He says, "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life" (John 6:40). And again, "God so loved the world‹, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16)›.
The Father wants all people to hear this proclamation and desires that they come to Christ. Christ does not drive these people from Him, as it is written, "whoever comes to Me I will never cast out" (John 6:37).
In order that we may come to Christ, the Holy Spirit works true faith through the hearing of the Word. The apostle testifies about this when he says, "faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17), that is, when it is preached in its truth and purity. (paragraphs 66-69)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.